Cardiomyopathy means that your heart is not working as it normally should. This condition can make it more difficult to do things that may have been easy for you in the past. But with proper treatment and some lifestyle changes, you and your healthcare provider can help your heart do its job.
Work hard to remove the salt from your diet. Here are tips:
Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.
Don’t add salt to your food at the table.
Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.
When you eat out, ask that the chef not add any salt to your dish.
Don't eat fried or greasy foods.
Be careful of bottled beverages. They can contain a lot of salt.
Also check the labels of over-the-counter medicines and supplements. They may be high in sodium. Ask your pharmacist or provider if you need help finding a low-salt product.
Be as active as you can. Ask your healthcare provider how to get started:
Simple activities such as walking or gardening can help.
Find activities you enjoy and make them a priority.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs can help you reach your activity goals. You exercise while staff closely watches the stress on your heart. These programs may be covered by insurance.
Other tips for home care:
Limit how much fluid you have each day. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much is safe.
Break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success. Join smoking cessation support groups or ask your healthcare provider about nicotine replacement products.
Take your medicines exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses. Don’t stop taking your medicines without talking to your healthcare provider first.
Some over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements can increase your heart rate or blood pressure. This can put extra stress on your heart. Check with your pharmacist to see if products are heart-safe and won't interact with other medicines you take.
Visit your healthcare provider regularly. Mention any problems with your treatment plan. Together you can find a plan that works for you.
Weigh yourself at the same time each day. The best time is in the morning after you wake up and after urinating. Wear the same clothing each time. Keep a written record of your daily weight.
Limit how much alcohol you drink. Too much alcohol isn't good for the heart. Healthcare providers advise no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
You gain more than 2 pounds in 1 day, more than 5 pounds in 1 week, or whatever weight gain you were told to report by your healthcare provider
New or increased chest pain that doesn't get better with medicine
New or increased shortness of breath or coughing
Weakness in the muscles of your face, arms, or legs
Rapid pulse or pounding heartbeat
Fainting, or feeling dizzy or lightheaded
New or increased swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.